Narinjara News



Bangladesh Police arrest seven Burmese Businessmen on charges of

involvement in terrorism

 

Teknaf, 5 October:  Many traders in Bangladesh expressed their concern that

the arrest of seven businessmen by Bangladesh police on charges of

'suspicious involvement in terrorism' on Friday may bring negative impact

on the Burma - Bangladesh border trade.

 

A spokesperson from the Border Traders' Association said yesterday that

though the police at Ukhia, under Cox's Bazaar District in the southeast

corner of Bangladesh, close to the Burmese border demand that the seven

persons have illegally entered Bangladesh and suspected to be 'terrorists',

the Bangladeshi traders demanded them to be legal traders who came to

Bangladesh with legal visa and papers.

 

The seven Burmese traders entered Bangladesh through Teknaf on the Naaf

River, opposite the western Burmese town of Maungdaw and went to Chittagong

to make a feasibility study of investment in fisheries sector.  But they

were arrested on the second day of the expiration of their visa.  Now the

traders expressed their fear that Bangladeshi traders would also face the

same rough treatment from the law enforcement agencies in Burma as

retaliation.

 

Meanwhile they expressed high concern about the diminishing legal trade

with Burma.  The revenue in August was recorded at Taka 60 million (1

million US $) while last month it came down to one-third of that amount,

they said. 

 

The spokesperson also alleged that while the government of Bangladesh is

trying to attract foreign investment, the action of the police in arresting

legal foreign traders on charges of illegal entry and on suspicion of being

terrorists would bring disaster to the entire border trade between the two

friendly neighbours.

 

Three of the arrested have been identified as engineers and they went to

Patiya, near Chittagong, from where they boarded a rented microbus.  At

Patiya they conducted feasibility study to set up a large cold storage

complex.  On Friday the police arrested them while they were on way to

Teknaf. 

 

After their arrest the chairman of the Teknaf Trade Association and leader

of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party - the ruling political party -

submitted the passports and visa of all the seven businessmen to the

police.  When police found that their stay permits expired two days earlier

on 1st October they lodged a case in the Ukhia police station. 

 

On Saturday the court sent them to prison.  The lawyer for them, Advocate

Shahjalal Chowdhury said that the arrested Burmese nationals have exported

fish worth taka 50 million in the last few months and he already submitted

the relevant papers to the police to this effect.  He questioned on what

grounds the police alleged them to be terrorists is just beyond his

knowledge.  The officer-in-charge of the police station declined to make

any comments on the matter.

 

The arrested seven hail from Rangoon, the capital of Burma.  Aged between

22 and 33 their names are: E Lu Thein, Than Lwin, Myint Lwin, Aung Kyaw

Thein, Thein Aung Than, Htin Lin and Than Ne Win.  #